I’ll update you with my personal and professional life situation in another post (that requires a lot more thought), but I wanted to update you on the few things I’ve bought during lockdowns(s) that are currently improving my life/skin/hair/mood.
First, I need you to know about the wondrousness of Hoka running shoes. If you are a runner, a walker, or just someone with a bad knee and a metal ankle (raises hand) who wants to feel like they are walking on layers of actual marshmallows, then look no further than the Hoka Bondi 7. These are without a doubt the very best sports shoes I’ve ever worn. I learned of their existence on a random website written by a podiatrist who was recommending shoes for people with feet and knee issues. As I wore them around the house to test drive them, I got angry… ANGRY that I didn’t have these in my life sooner! They’re that good. My neighbour/partner in crime/mate/running buddy Bree bought a pair too and she also loves them. Her word to describe them is ‘boomfy’, which is perfect. They come in several colours, and they run true to size. I’m bossing every runner I know into buying a pair. I also wear them for the Les Mills on Demand cardio workouts I do at home, and my knee and ankle are very happy with the extreme cushioning these provide. Behold my life-changing Boomfs!
This time of year with its cold temperatures and dry indoor heating brings me eczema woes. My scalp, neck, and ears are the areas where the eczema has chosen to roost again this season. I plaster myself with coconut oil, homeoplasmine, and Dr Pawpaw on the outside, and this Viridian beauty oil (love!) on the inside. I can’t use any normal shampoos or conditioners without patches of my scalp turning into an angry red swollen mess. I started using this unscented Botanical Therapeutic shampoo and conditioner, which has helped a lot. Anything scented completely freaks my scalp out at the moment. The brand, Carina Organics, is Canadian so is probably fairly easy to find if you’re in the US. However, THIS conditioner has been the game changer: Derma E scalp relief conditioner. The first time I used it I nearly jumped out of my skin because it has menthol in it. WHAT?! Menthol on irritated skin? Even Balneum cream, specifically made for eczema, caused my scalp and neck sting so painfully I had to shower again to wash it completely off. I would never have bought this Derma E conditioner if I’d known it contained menthol. The online reviews were so glowing I must have overlooked that bit of info! However, a few minutes after my shower, my eczema patches stopped burning and started to feel almost normal. Now I use this 4 times a week, giving it lots of time to sit on my scalp while I shower. I am thrilled with how well it works. I even use the conditioner as a ‘lotion’ on the eczema patches on my legs and arms between shampoos; whatever is in it, besides the menthol, it does the trick (here is a link to their website in the US).
I use so many different products on my face, depending on my skin’s condition and what I’m doing that day– a facial oil if it is is dehydrated or red, a good acid toner if I’m spotty, a retinol cream or a gentle exfoliator if it is looking a bit dull, and something moisturising if it looks dry. The last one is always the trickiest… how to keep my skin moisturised without triggering spots. Enter my new favourite cream, Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream, aka pure perfection in a purple pot. I use it as day cream or night cream, depending on what my skin needs. I put a double layer of it under my eyes and extend it out to my temples (where I’m dry and eczema prone). It sits beautifully under my foundation, and I just like how well my skin responds to it. It is a ‘heavy’ moisturiser (not Creme de la Mer heavy) yet it doesn’t cause me to break out. I’m interested to see if I still like it this well in summer months. For now, it is perfect.
Another purchase I’ve been thrilled with is my Sweaty Betty power gym leggings. I have other styles of Sweaty Betty leggings which I absolutely love; they are worth every single penny of their price tag. They are super flattering, they feel great on, they don’t go sheer when you’re doing squat, and they look brand new hundreds of washings later. Why the excitement over this latest pair? A phone pocket! While not that useful for me in a gym or home setting, if I am wearing these out on a walk or a run they give me a perfect place to put my phone and or mask. They also have another handy zip pocket at the waist for my keys. They are a little spendy for leggings, but the sales are excellent (there is one on now, up to 50% off).
So if these are things I’ve really liked, what have I tried that I haven’t liked? The only thing I’ve really disliked is Il Makiage Woke Up Like This foundation. I am SUCH a sucker for foundation. Yes, I love what I have been wearing for years (mostly Jane Iredale Glow Time BB cream and IT Cosmetics CC+ Illumination foundation) but I cannot resist the siren song of the new. I got sucked in by the slick Instagram ads demonstrating award-winning colour matching technology. The Il Makiage foundation is rubbish in every way for me; the colour they recommended isn’t great, the texture isn’t buildable, it doesn’t cover any red marks, and it looks like a mask of foundation sitting top of my skin. I put it on again in the middle of writing this just to confirm how much I dislike it. Yep. Still hate it.
I’m test driving samples of Koh Gen Do foundation at the moment. I’ve only been using them for two weeks, which isn’t enough time for me to have a considered opinion. The colour range is enormous; I can easily wear five of the shades I’ve tried in the sample pack. I’m not convinced the formulation is better than what I’m currently wearing though. I’ll keep you posted on my findings. Why did I even try it (aside from my usual foundation obsession)? Oprah Winfrey’s makeup artist loves it, and where Oprah leads, I often follow! She has a lot more staff and a lot more money than I do to throw at finding the best stuff.
With that, I shall sign off, and wish you a fabulous holiday season and and sparkling year ahead… one that can only be better than the year behind us.
(all images used are from the respective brand’s websites)